SEO is critical to any modern business. Driving organic traffic to your site is the first step to building leads, converting visitors to customers, and generally improving your sales and business performance. But a site plagued by SEO issues simply cannot reap the benefits of a well-planned and effective SEO strategy.
Business owners, sales professionals, and marketers often ask: What are the best ways to fix my SEO? Understanding how to find SEO problems and how to fix the most common technical SEO issues are essential. Below, we’ll take a closer look at how duplicate content, mobile SEO, security, broken links, and alt text can underlie SEO issues. Recognizing and fixing these top five SEO problems can and will improve your rankings.
If you’ve recently begun trying to fix SEO problems and made apparently good strides, you might be wondering, why is my SEO not working? First, it’s important to recognize exactly what’s meant by “not working.”
Not getting enough visitors to your site or losing traffic could indicate SEO issues. That’s the most apparent form of SEO problems. Similarly, if you’re not getting conversions, that could also indicate issues with SEO. If visitors aren’t becoming leads or customers, it means your site isn’t matching users’ intentions or expectations.
If your keyword rankings are dropping or you’re not ranking for your best keywords, it means you have to find SEO problems and get them fixed. Further, if you have a high bounce rate and low dwell time, that reveals that people aren’t sticking around on your site and that the content isn’t meeting the needs and expectations of many of your visitors.
Identifying and fixing technical SEO issues are key steps for improving SEO. Your website design, coding, and back-end properties may be less apparent than other features, but these aspects of technical SEO are important to overall page rankings.
Duplicate content describes any content that is similar to or the same as other content on your site. When Google crawls a website and reviews its content, finding the same or very similar content on multiple pages creates confusion and slows things down. Sometimes duplicate content results for technical reasons. For example, printer-only web pages repeat content from main pages, and domains containing or leaving out “www” before a site name both get crawled.
Since the same page can have multiple URLs, it’s best to tell Google which of multiple URLs it should index and crawl. Canonical tags can help do so. Applying the rel= “canonical” link to a preferred URL indicates a primary page for indexing.
Much of online browsing occurs using mobile devices. If your website is slow to load on mobile phones and tablets and doesn’t provide an optimized experience, users will quickly click away. Mobile sites should be fast-loading and lean. Insight from Google PageSpeed can reveal how quickly pages load and help pinpoint slow down from images, videos, plugins, server speed, and other causes.
Responsive site design for mobile users allows a site to automatically display correctly for both mobile and desktop devices. It’s typically the best route, as opposed to having a separate site and subdomain for mobile users, because it doesn’t split link equity or create two sites competing against each other.
A site without HTTPS security could come up with a “not secure” warning when visitors try to view your site — a surefire way to lose traffic and scare people away. While all businesses work hard to appeal to Google’s search algorithms, don’t forget that actual human users have to feel comfortable visiting your site. If your site’s not secure, the comfort level drops.
If your site is secured, your browser may say “Secure” in the URL line and will also display “https” preceding the URL. Web security matters because you don’t want your site’s data exposed to hackers, malicious software, or to any other means of exploitation. And while malicious activity can affect almost any site, adding an SSL certificate provides a crucial first layer of protection.
To obtain an HTTPS domain, you’ll need to purchase and install an SSL certificate from a certificate authority. Once that’s done, your site will display “https” in front of the URL.
Internal and external links on your website are critical to SEO. In fact, looking for broken links is an easy way to find SEO problems. Both people and Google don’t like broken links; they’re inconvenient, frustrating, and indicate poor site upkeep. Up-to-date links indicate quality content to search crawlers, positively affecting page rankings.
Still, broken links are an inevitable cause of technical SEO issues. Website URLs change. Pages go up and get taken down. Content moves. Trying to prevent broken links is difficult, but staying on top of them and fixing them quickly is a task worth taking.
Every time a page is changed, removed, or redirected, internal links should be checked. For large sites with rapidly changing content, however, checking internal links manually can be tedious. Checking external links is another task. Using Google Search Console, you can crawl your site and then hone in on crawl errors stemming from bad links. By redirecting broken links, fixing the URL, or removing the link altogether if it’s no longer relevant, you’ll improve your site’s technical SEO issues.
Alt tags help search engines understand what images depict and why an image is relevant. Providing textual descriptions of images helps search engines to categorize images and return relevant results for users. Alt tags are also useful for people with visual disabilities, as hearing a read description of an image provides information that otherwise might not be obtainable.
Image alt tags should contain strong keywords and keyword phrases. Failing to do so means a missed opportunity to fix SEO problems. The overall usefulness of your site is a key consideration, and absent content fields lead to SEO issues.
Broken internal images act similar to broken links. Clicking an image only to have a non-working URL or link leaves a bad impression on both human users and search engine crawlers. Non-working images mean users might more readily leave your site and that crawlers find low-quality content.
SEO best practices are always in motion. As sites and search engines continue to evolve and refine their methods, SEO changes. At My Creative Mark, we know that SEO strategy underpins any successful site and modern business. That’s why we want to help your business identify its SEO issues and work to get them fixed.
There’s no substitute for strong organic traffic and getting a high volume of the right visitors to your site. There’s also, perhaps, no better way to grow your business than by optimizing SEO. Also, a great business shouldn’t be stifled by poor-performing SEO.
If you know your site has SEO problems, you’re losing business by not fixing them. Contact our team to find out more about what we can do for you.